What is the Best Smoke Detector?

Every year in the United States, nearly 3,000 people die in residential fires. Although accidental fires can occur at any time, one of the best ways to keep you and your family safe is to install a smoke detector in every room of your home. With that in mind, we decided to head out and help you choose the best smoke detector available on the market today.

The Best Smoke Detector Available on The Market

Title
Best Choice
Nest Protect (2nd Gen)
Kidde KN-COSM-BA
First Alert SCO5CN
Preview
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Protect Your Home From Fire and Gas Leaks, Even When You're Away, Wired (Second Generation)
Kidde Battery-Operated(Not Hardwired) Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning KN-COSM-BA
First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Battery Operated
Weight
13.3 ounces
13.6 ounces
1.4 pounds
Size
5.3 by 1.5 by 5.3 inches
7 by 3 by 4 inches
8.2 by 8.6 by 2.5 inches
Sensor Technology
Combined
Combined
Combined
Hardwired/Battery Powered
Both Options Available
Battery-Powered
Hardwired
Smart Home Ready
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Interconnectible
Best Choice
Title
Nest Protect (2nd Gen)
Preview
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Protect Your Home From Fire and Gas Leaks, Even When You're Away, Wired (Second Generation)
Weight
13.3 ounces
Size
5.3 by 1.5 by 5.3 inches
Sensor Technology
Combined
Hardwired/Battery Powered
Both Options Available
Smart Home Ready
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Interconnectible
More Information
Title
Kidde KN-COSM-BA
Preview
Kidde Battery-Operated(Not Hardwired) Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning KN-COSM-BA
Weight
13.6 ounces
Size
7 by 3 by 4 inches
Sensor Technology
Combined
Hardwired/Battery Powered
Battery-Powered
Smart Home Ready
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Interconnectible
More Information
Title
First Alert SCO5CN
Preview
First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Battery Operated
Weight
1.4 pounds
Size
8.2 by 8.6 by 2.5 inches
Sensor Technology
Combined
Hardwired/Battery Powered
Hardwired
Smart Home Ready
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Interconnectible
More Information

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Once properly installed and maintained, today’s advanced smoke detectors are on guard 24 hours a day, constantly scanning for signs of fire, smoke, or particulates in the air that can signal a problem. By maintaining constant vigilance, this simple and economical device can save your life, and help protect your valuable property.

The Technology Behind Smoke Detectors

Today’s advanced models rely on three different core technologies to alert to the presence of smoke and/or fire. Many smoke detectors available now feature one or more kinds of sensors, doubling your protection. Regardless of the type of sensor or programming, all smoke detectors have two basic parts: a sensor, and an alert (usually a combination of a loud noise and a flashing light).

Some smoke detectors are powered by a battery in the unit, while others are directly connected to the house current. Regardless of what kind of smoke detector you choose, it is essential that you test your smoke detector once a year, replacing batteries or the unit if necessary.

Modern smoke detectors feature different sensor technology, including:

  • Ionization – By taking advantage of electromagnetic properties on the molecular scale, an ionization sensor is able to quickly and accurately respond to very small amounts of smoke. Many times, fast flaming fires like those that occur in the kitchen, or the ignition of paper or gasoline, produce very little smoke at the outset. An ionization sensor can quickly respond to these types of fires.
  • Photoelectric – The tried and true technology of a photoelectric sensor uses two tiny beams of light, cross-set at a 90-degree angle. When smoke or particulate matter interfere with the light beam, the sensor is triggered and the alarm sounds. Photoelectric sensors are particularly accurate at detecting slow-burning, smoldering fires, which can be the result of an electrical short or other household accident.
  • Dual Sensor – A combination of both a photoelectric sensor as well as an ionization sensor, these smoke detectors offer maximum vigilance in case of a fire or smoke.

How to Choose the Right Detector for You

Any smoke detector is better than none, as these invaluable devices can save your life. However, it is worth considering that ionization sensing smoke detectors often trigger accidentally when used in kitchens if they respond to burned food in the oven or hot grease used when frying. Photoelectric sensors are better at sensing fires that occur when people are asleep, the light sensor being particularly effective at sensing smoke from slow-burning, smoldering fires. Dual sensor smoke detectors offer the most comprehensive coverage, but it is important to know that some models will appear to be functioning normally even if one of their sensors has malfunctioned.

To help you choose the right smoke detector for you, below are reviews of three of the most popular models on sale today:

The Best Smoke Detector – Pro Tip: Nest Protect

nest_protect

Nest Protect 2nd Gen

This advanced multi-sensor smoke detector maintains constant vigilance against all types of smoke, and comes with an additional carbon monoxide sensor. Constantly connected to the internet, the Nest Protect will send alerts to your smartphone or mobile device, alerting you to problems even when you’re not home. The Nest Protect is designed to speak aloud, informing you exactly what problem has been detected, as well as its source. It is certainly the best smoke detector, if you are lookigng for a smart home solution to your problems.

Advantages

  • Designed to last for 10 years – the maximum available by law
  • Able to be silenced remotely with your smartphone or mobile device
  • Connected to the internet without any special wiring necessary
  • Speaks aloud to give you more detail about the source of the problem
  • Can send alerts to your smartphone or mobile device
  • Elegant and stylish design
  • Also has a carbon monoxide detector

Disadvantages

  • Requires 6 lithium metal batteries, which must be replaced occasionally
  • Can sometimes be over-sensitive to smoke sources in the kitchen

Features

Inside the box, you’ll get the main unit, 6 lithium metal batteries, easy mounting backplate, instructions for downloading the related free smartphone app, and a handy user manual.

  • Weighs just 13.3 ounces
  • Measures 5.3 by 1.5 by 5.3 inches
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty from the manufacturer
  • Features Google latest-generation programming technology
  • Instantly connects to your home Wi-Fi network
  • Can connect to other Nest sensors in your home, maintaining the network even if the internet goes down
  • Will send alerts to your mobile device in case of a problem

Overall Verdict

The Nest Protect is one of the best latest-generation multi-sensor smoke detectors available on the market. Able to be controlled remotely by a smartphone or mobile device, and with a speaking function to identify the source of a problem, this multi detector will instantly alert you to smoke, fire, or a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide gas. Easy to install, the Nest Protect will automatically connect to other Nest detectors to form a vigilant network of sensors in your home, protecting you and your family 24 hours a day.

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery Operated Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector with Voice Warning 

Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery Operated Smoke Detector with Voice Warning

Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery Operated Smoke Detector with Voice Warning

The Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery Operated smoke detector combines both photoelectric and ionization sensors to give your home maximum protection against fire and smoke. The product is designed to be fully operational with batteries without the need of hard-wiring. The included “hush” feature allows you to easily silence any nuisance alarms with the touch of a button. As a safety feature, a small but powerful red LED light flashes twice a minute to let you know that it is functioning properly. Definitely worth a spot on our best smoke detector list.

Advantages

  • Advanced dual ionization and photoelectric sensors for maximum fire and smoke protection
  • No Need for Hird-Writing
  • Easy to use “hush” features silences unwarranted alarms
  • Convenient test/reset button allows for regular maintenance and testing
  • Designed to be hard-wired into your home current for long-lasting reliability
  • RED light pulsing indicator lets you know unit is functioning propely
  • Attractive white housing designed to blend in seamlessly with your interior decor
  • Thriple AA Batteries Included in the Box

Disadvantages

  • You Need to Regularly Check the Batteries of the Device
  • The Voice Low Battery Feature Chirp Can Be Mistaken for a Fire Alarm

Features

In the box, you’ll get the main smoke detector unit, mounting assembly, three-wire harness, screws, three AA batteries and the installation and user guide.

  • Weighs just 13.6 ounces
  • Stylish white disc design that blends into ceilings and walls
  • Measures 7 by 3 by 4 inches
  • BLow Battery Chirp Indication
  • Voice Activated Alarm
  • Very easy to install
  • Test/reset button allows for regular safety check

Overall Verdict

With both an ionization and photoelectric sensor, the KN-COSM-BA is an excellent home smoke detector. Designed to be extremely sensitive to the first signs of a fire, the unit comes with a “hush” button in case of an accidental trigger. With a bright LED lights indicating power and function, you’ll always know with a glance that the Kidde KN-COSM-BA is working properly. Definitely one of the best mid-priced smoke detectors available on the market today.

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purchasing Tip (1):

If Kidde is your brand of choice, but you want to achieve full house coverage on a budget, you might want to choose the Kiddie i9050. Extremely affordable, the battery operated smoke alarm has a ionization sensor and as other products from the company, it also meets the Underwriters Laboratoriesr requirements and safety standards. With an aduio alarm of 85 DB at 10 feet and a test buttom to verify the alarm operation, this smoke alarm is a deinite recommondation, if you need large scale coverage.

Sale
Kidde i9050 Battery Operated Smoke Alarm, White
  • Smoke Alarm with Low Battery Indicator with Ionization Sensor,Battery operated 9V battery included
  • Test button verifies battery and alarm operation,Audio Alarm-85dB at 10ft
  • Tamper resist pin to help prevent tampering and theft
  • Low battery indicator chirps when battery needs replacement
  • Kiddes smoke alarms meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent facility that tests products for compliance with widely-accepted safety standards

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purchasing Tip (2)

Another option for wide spaces, if you want complete protection and have the money to spare, is the Kidde KN-COSM-IBA smoke detector. As the name suggests, the product is the same in features as the KN-COSM-BA, with the only difference being the internconnectable operational feature that comes with the product. For your convenience, Kidde provides with more affordable pack options for the devices, as you can check out here.

Kidde KN-COSM-IBA Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector, 120V Hardwired Talking w/Battery Backup (21006377) - Pack of 3
  • 120 Volt with battery backup
  • Intelligent multi sensor alarm
  • Voice warning and low battery system
  • Smart hush-silences the unit during nuisance alarm situations
  • Peak level-alerts

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

First Alert SCO5CN Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

First Alert SCO5CN Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The First Alert SCO5CN features a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detecting technology based on the latest photoelectric and electrochemical CO sensing technology. Designed to be hardwired into your home AC current, the First Alert SCO5CN also features a battery back-up in case of power outages. Using the latest smoke detecing and carbon monoxide detecting technology, the First Alert SCO5CN will maintain a constant vigil against smoke and fire, providing reliable protection for you and your family.

Advantages

  • Attractive white octagon design
  • Two different “hush” features for accidental alarms
  • Has two different latching features for ultra-simple installation
  • Very loud piercing 85-decibel alert will wake up even the heaviest sleeper (Varying Frequency Option for Everyone)
  • Battery back-up is designed to give 4,320 hours of service before needing to be replaced
  • Test button lets you verify unit is functioning properly
  • Made in North America

Disadvantages

  • No way to tell if just one sensor is malfunctioning
  • May not fit some existing brackets used by other models of smoke detectors

Features

In the box you get the main smoke detector unit, two AA 10-year lithium batteries, mounting bracket, and user/installation guide.

  • Weighs 1.4 pounds
  • Measures 8.2 by 8.6 by 2.5 inches
  • Comes with two AA batteries included
  • 7-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
  • Powered by your home A/C current (at 120 Volts)
  • Easy to silence in case of accidental alarm
  • Simple to install

Overall Verdict

With an attractive octagonal design, the First Alert SCO5CN looks great wherever it is mounted, and is simple and easy to install. Featuring both a highly accurate electrochemical sensor as well as photoelectric sensors, the First Alert SCO5CN is ready to provide round-the-clock protection against any type of fire or smoke. Designed to use long-lasting lithium AA batteries as a battery back-up, the First Alert SCO5CN can provide reliable vigilance for up to a decade without needing any maintenance. A simple test button allows you to verify the unit is functioning, while a loud alert will signal that the batteries need replacing. With its array of features, the First Alert SCO5CN is one of the most comprehensive and reliable smoke detectors available on the market today.

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purchasing Tip (1):

The First Alert SCO5CN is not going to be able to detect smoke throughout your whole house. If you want to expand your smoke detecting mesh network, but don’t want to spend a lot, the First Alert SA303CN3 is a great add-on budget option smoke detector. Working with a 9-volt battery and coming with a 5-year limited warranty, the detector isn’t as sophisticated as some other options by First Alarm, but it is nonetheless a great budget option.

Sale
First Alert SA303CN3 Battery Powered Smoke Alarm with Silence Button
  • Battery-powered smoke alarm with silence/test button
  • Features convenient silence/test button, blinking power light, 85-decibel alarm
  • Also includes side battery drawer and missing battery guard
  • Low battery warning and tamper resistant
  • 9-volt battery included, recommended battery replacement every 6 months

Last update on 2017-12-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Purchasing Tip (2): 

First alert has three other smoke detector models within the same price range (under the same family of products) that might be a better choice, depending on your needs. Plus, they work great when connected both with this device and with one another.The BRK SC7010BV and BRK SC7010B are both combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detectors. The third one is the SC-9120B. The only true difference between the SC-9120B and the SC7010B and SC7010BV is the sensor technology. While the 9120B has a ionization fire sensor, both other produts boast a photoelectric smoke sensor. In addition, the BV-model has a talking voice alarm with location control feature, hence its slightly more expensive price. You can check out both of these options below.

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Smart Home Tip:

In case you want to future-proof your home, choosing the First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm might be your best choice. While the device is not Wink compatible, it works great with a number of Z-Wave ready systems, including Samsung SmartThings and Nexia Home Intelligence. The Smoke Detector itself is rather affordable and features a combination sensors both electrochemical and photoelectic ones to keep your home safe. It is easy to connect with your hub and works wonders, if you want a home automation solution for your home smoke detector. Note that you’d need a hub to take advantage of the smart home capabilities of this device. If you don’t know where to start, check out our z-wave hub guide.

Sale
First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  • Z-wave compatible smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. First Alert Z-Wave Detector - NOT WINK compatible
  • Wireless connection to z-wave hub (not included)
  • Reliable electrochemical co and photoelectric smoke sensors
  • Features single button test/Silence and side-access battery drawer
  • Meets UL standards and backed by 7 year limited warranty

Last update on 2017-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Summary

Regardless of which model or type of smoke detector you choose, it is essential that every home have one. While some models are pricier than others, it is worth the cost to know that you and your loved ones are protected in case of a fire. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and testing, and to replace batteries when needed. A properly functioning alarm can save your life, and give you advanced warning before a serious problem develops, allowing you to take action and spare your property from the devastation that a fire can cause.

 

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In the process of creating a web page completely dedicated to the “Smart Home”. Find info on all the different aspects of Home Automation & Home Security.

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